LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Exclusive Interview With Director Alex Chandon
By James Whittington, Tuesday 23rd October 2012
Alex Chandon is one of the UKs most inventive creatives. His latest movie, Inbred has been hailed by many as one of the best Brit horror movies in ages.
Alex will be introducing three of his favourite horror movies this Thursday from 9pm during his very own Director's Night on the Horror Channel.
Here he chats about his career, the movie Inbred and the plans he has for the future.
HC: You've been around in the movie industry for a while now, how has it changed since you began your career?
AC: Hi. I think its remained very similar for mainstream films, the same people control the monies and funding. The same prejudices against low budget and genre films exist and the same struggles face any film maker/actor trying to get regular work in the industry. It's still a hard, two-faced, back-stabbing industry that is geared up against the creatives (writers/directors) as all the power lies with producers and distributors. But it's changed radically for independent film makers mostly because the technology to make Hollywood-like films is now available relatively cheap to anybody. One can hire RED cameras and edit on the same software that Hollywood uses and that is a huge game changer. I think in 5 years time the power will be with the creatives as we won't need distributors to market our films and we can sell direct to the public via VOD and downloads. Now that will be a time to rejoice! One negative is that a whole lot more sh**t independent films are being made and the market is saturated with low budget horror especially so making a splash has become harder as the competition steps up.
HC: Inbred, your latest feature is released this month. Its already got a cult following, are you tempted to make a sequel?
AC: I've been asked a few times and I say I would like to make a prequel set in the 1970's to show people what the Inbred's were up to back then. I see VW camper vans, hippies and gore all to a cool Hendrix soundtrack!
HC: How did you get Dominic Brunt in the movie?
AC: He asked me! He's a massive horror fan and he heard I was casting up in Manchester and he came along with a copy of Cradle Of Fear he wanted me to sign and asked if there might be a small cameo role for him. That small cameo got a big bigger during discussions and Podge was born! Dom came up with his look, the costume and the dentures and glasses etc. And his strange twitch was his idea!! He was brilliant and I'd love to cast him in another film in a beefier role.
HC: Podge is a superb character, surely a Yorkshire-style salute to Leatherface?
AC: Abso-f*****g-lutely! We added the 'Chain Saw-twirl' as an obvious original TCM reference!
HC: What was it like doing a live commentary for the movie at FrightFest?
AC: Very scary! When it was pitched to me I said, "Yeah, okay" and didn't think it through. Closer to the event I began to realise what a difficult proposition it was to talk non-stop through the film hitting marks and being relevant to the screen and entertaining to a live audience at the same time. So the week before I was s***ting it! I did a run through with a mate that was awful so on the day before I did another run through alone and took advice from others to relax and not get too anal about it and that was the key, my run through was okay and I made notes which I reread a few times on Friday then on Saturday I went down and did it. And it was amazing, once it started I couldn't stop and it was quite an adrenalin buzz and an interesting experience. I revealed things I hadn't planned on a lot of subconscious streamed out. I would say this is not something that everyone should try as it reveals a lot about you. I froze a couple of times but luckily had friends and a few of the film's actors in the audience who would shout out a question or a random thought if they saw me freeze and that got my train of thought going again.
And the audience really enjoyed it! Especially nice was about 10 people in the audience hadn't seen the film prior to this and they really found it interesting and said they loved the film and would be buying a copy. I didn't think it would work at all for people alien to the film but I was wrong. A highlight was something I'd planned with Neil Keenan, he plays Inbred Vern in the film and he also composed and performed the 'Ee By Gum' Inbred folk song (now available on iTunes for 79p!). He brought his banjo and when the folk song plays out the end of the film we performed the 'Ee By Gum' song live and got the whole audience to join in the chorus and then we all marched into the auditorium of the cinema singing the song! We filmed the event and a video is on you tube. It was really funny watching the stunned reactions of people at the bar as a whole audience walks out singing.
Neil has been in every single one of my films since 1991 and is one of my best friends and a very talented musician, very into bluegrass style and plays the banjo and string instruments and so I asked him if he'd come up with an Inbred song. We wanted it to sound English and folky but we wanted it to have a good beat. I'm a massive fan of Southern Comfort and I love the end scene at the Cajun community and they play an awesome Cajun folk song. We loved the beat and Neil homaged that to come up with the 'Ee By Gum' rhythm. Neil wrote the lyrics and organised a recording session with other musicians and basically pulled the whole thing together amazingly.
HC: You've chosen three very different movies for your Director's Night; Tenebrae, The Exterminator and Street Trash. Can you tell us why you choose these particular movies?
AC: I was looking for films that had a big impact on me in my early film making days. The 1980's must rank as the best decade for horror ever and I class myself as very lucky to be growing up in this period. I must have been 14 when I saw The Exterminator and it freaked me out. The opening scene alone was enough for me to put it on the list. Still one of the best and most brutal Vietnam flashback scenes. And still, incredibly, one of the greatest semi-decapitations of all time. I watched it again recently and its not as action packed as I remembered, in fact its a bit plodding, but it has a great sleazy feel to it (reminds me of The Warriors original cut, an all time fave) and is a solid vigilante movie.
Street Trash is great exploitation fun. It's not Bad Taste but it’s a close contender. I always remember being so excited by the Fangoria coverage and slightly let down by the amount of grue in the film when I finally got to see it, but never the less this does have some great FX scenes including one of my favourite severed head reaction gags when he peeks up her skirt. It is a body-melt classic. Check out the amazing Steadi-cam shots as well. I believe the director went off to become the worlds leading Steadi-cam operator after this. Of the three films Tenebrae has stood the test of time the best and is still a startling piece of film making and I think showcases Dario Argento and his minions at the height of their respective powers. This film is totally mind-blowing in many departments. The direction and camera-work and editing and soundtrack are exemplary, this is the kind of film that I've always wanted to make but I'm nowhere near this level of genius yet. I loved this when I was 15 and I love it more now.
HC: Would you like to remake any of them, given the chance?
AC: Interesting question. I don't like horror remakes. I really think Hollywood has f****d up too many 'not-that-old' classics. I really cannot see why someone would want to f**k with the memory of classics such as Day Of The Dead, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Halloween, The Evil Dead, Last House On The Left, Robocop, and please, please let the rumour about Videodrome be wrong! So I would only go near a horror remake if we had a really nice budget and some level of control of the end result, a rarity with bigger budgets. Of the three The Exterminator, I feel could have been better so I'd like to give that one a go.
HC: You're a man of many talents, in which job are you at your happiest?
AC: I like to think that my many talents all come together to form my main talent and the thing I enjoy the most. Film-making. I'm lucky to be artistic and use all that to make a film. So I love writing script - the first stage - coming up with crazy ideas is always fun. Then I love preparation which involves storyboarding and discussing set design and camera work. And I just adore directing on set. I forgot how much I thrive on that. Inbred brought it all back. This is what I was made to do I think. But then I love editing, the calm after the storm of filming sitting on my own and chillaxing and cutting scenes together and making the magic work is always a glorious time (as long as I'm not trying to meet a deadline!!) And then I totally adore doing After Effects, composite digital FX work. I still find it amazing these post-production tools are available to me and I can now do all the crazy FX that I dreamed of doing as a 21 year old budding film maker. So I really do genuinely love so much about the whole process.
HC: So what other projects are you working on?
AC: Inbred has been a real labour of love and due to its small-ish budget I've had to do a lot of work on it even down to over-seeing all the deliverables and final archiving and so my work on it has only just finished. That's almost 3 years. I can't wait to start a new project. I have some scripts I wrote just before Inbred, which I still like and I've been inspired in the last year from watching new horror films at film festivals so I have a couple of nice ideas I can't wait to start writing. I'm still very into the horror genre and want to explore a 'scary-as-f**k' movie idea as I'd love to scare people silly one day. I would one day like to do action or sci-fi film. I love Starship Troopers and Robocop and Mad Max 2 and would love to make a crazy violent futuristic piece of mayhem one day!
HC: Alex Chandon, thank you very much.
AC: Cheers Horror Channel! Now please check out our website www.inbredmovie.com and support Inbred!
Alex Chandon's Director's Night is on Thursday October 25th from 9pm.
Related show tags: STREET TRASH, TENEBRAE, THE EXTERMINATOR MORE INTERVIEWS Interview with Jessica McLeod, star of The Hollow Child
Posted on Friday 8th June 2018
If you like your horror movies to have a strong paranormal theme to them you'll need to look out for The Hollow Child when it gets released later this year. It stars the incredibly talented Jessica McLeod so we decided to have a chat about this and her career to date.
HC: Was there a certain person you saw who inspired you to become an actor?
JM: I don't think I had seen a movie by the time I had wanted to be an actor. But Reese Witherspoon continues to inspire me, although my career has been entirely different from hers at my age.
HC: Can you recall what it was like to be on a movie set for the first time?
JM: I believe I got to wear a prin...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Steeve Leonard co-director of Radius
Posted on Monday 21st May 2018
In the chilling movie, Radius, a man wakes from a car crash with amnesia and what's more anyone who comes into contact with him instantly dies. This FrightFest favourite is receiving its UK TV premiere on Friday 25th of May so we chatted to its co-director and co-writer Steeve Leonard about this celebrated and cerebral movie.
HC: How long did Radius take to write?
SL: Radius took about 4 years to write, on and off. We had the radius of death idea first but we didn't know what to do with it, and so we shelved it for a while. Later we came up with the more interpersonal twist we have now and we weaved it together with the radius idea.
HC: Was it written with a cast in mind?
SL: No....SHARE: READ MORE Exclusive: Director Johannes Roberts talks 'The Strangers: Prey at Night'
Posted on Tuesday 1st May 2018
This weekend sees the release of a long-awaited sequel to one of 2008's most beloved slasher films. Yes, nine whole years after The Strangers premiered, UK cinema-goers will be met once again by Dollface, the Man in Mask and Pin-Up Girl in The Strangers: Prey at Night.
Starring Mad Men's Christina Hendricks, Bailee Madison, Martin Henderson, and Lewis Pullman, son of the late Bill, the film sees a family of four being stalked and tormented shortly after arriving on what was supposed to be a quiet family trip to a remote mobile home. The family must decide whether to take on the dreaded strangers hell-bent on wreaking havoc, or to run for their lives.
We had a chat with the film's direct...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Andy Nyman, co-writer, co-director and star of Ghost Stories
Posted on Monday 9th April 2018
I've met Andy Nyman on many occasions over the last decade or so, and over that time I've watched his career constantly go from strength to strength. To call him multi-talented would be an understatement and along with Jeremy Dyson has created the must-see horror movie of 2018, Ghost Stories. Here he chats about the stage play, Ghost Stories as well as how it changed on its way to the big screen.
HC: When did you first meet co-writer and co-director Jeremy Dyson?
AN: Jeremy and I met at a Jewish Summer Camp in 1981, and you just get thrown together in dorms of four people and Jeremy is from Leeds and all my family are from Leeds so I used to spend most of my weekends up in Leeds so we instantly ha...SHARE: READ MORE John Krasinski talks directing and starring in 'A Quiet Place'
Posted on Friday 6th April 2018
In case you hadn't heard, A Quiet Place has opened in cinemas nationwide.
The film, starring real-life couple, John Krasinski (US adaptation of The Office and 13 Hours) and Emily Blunt (Sicario, Wind Chill and The Devil Wears Prada) takes place in a post-apocalyptic(-ish) environment, in which strange wild creatures that hunt by sound have destroyed a significant amount of the population.
Krasinski and Blunt's characters, husband and wife Lee and Evelyn try to lead a life with their family as quietly (and by that we mean literally) as possible, in able to ensure their survival.
We sat down with the director and one half of Krasinski-Blunt to talk about the film, what scares him the most, and which...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with David Howard Thornton, star of Terrifier
Posted on Monday 26th March 2018
If you're a fan of slasher movies then you'll have to check out the bood-splattered shocker Terrifier. The movie is a full-blown, hair-raising homage to grindhouse slashers that introduces a new murderous icon in the form of Art the Clown. Art id surely destined to become a true horror anti-hero and here David Howard Thornton, the guy who plays art, chats about this brilliantly brutal movie and what he's up to at the moment.
HC: What movie or person inspired you to want to work in the film industry?
DT: I would say that would be the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit film wise. I was obsessed with that film when it first came out, and still watch it at least once a year when I need some inspiration. It meshe...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Richard Elliot, Managing Director of 88 Films
Posted on Saturday 17th March 2018
Recently I've been lucky enough to review some rather tasty Blu-rays from 88 Films. This company has been behind amazing releases of titles such as A Cat in the Brain, Anthropophagous and Don't Go in the Woods...Alone. So I decided to chat to managing director Richard Elliot about 88 Films and how they survive in a cut-throat market.
HC: How did 88 Films start?
RE: 88 Films started after James and I met working for another label and it was the usual "we think we can do it better than the boss" scenario. So we slowly developed an idea of what we wanted to do after work down the pub and after lots of head scratching and pork scratchings and some setbacks BE Movies was born... which quickly became 88 Films...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Paul Urkijo, director of Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil
Posted on Thursday 1st March 2018
One thing that Horror Channel FrightFest prides itself in is by championing new talent. This year's Glasgow event is no different with a whole host of newbies bringing their first features. A real highlight is Paul Urkijo's Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil which is a sumptuous piece that Terry Gilliam would be proud of. Here he chats to us about this stunning movie.
HC: Where did the idea for Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil come from?
PU: I was inspired by the Basque story "Patxi Errementaria". He was registered by JM Barandiaran, an anthropologist priest who dedicated his life to recording stories and legends of the Basque Country. It is a legend about a blacksmith who was so ev...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Adam MacDonald, writer and director of Pyewacket.
Posted on Wednesday 28th February 2018
There have been a number of occult and demonic movies over the last few years but none have come close to the tension and terror of Adam MacDonald's Pyewacket. The superb piece of cinema is showing at Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow this week so I had a quick chat with Adam about this superior shocker.
HC: Have you always been a horror fan?
AM: It really started when I was about 7 years old when my older brother showed me Evil Dead. I couldn't believe what I was watching, it truly rocked me. The card scene in the film did not leave my mind for days. That film is stained on my brain. I was terrified. But then I had a realisation that I loved that feeling. It was primal. Then I watched The Shinin...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Kelly Greene, writer and director of Attack of the Bat Monsters
Posted on Tuesday 27th February 2018
Making movies can be a tough business but to have to wait almost two decades to release your work takes true dedication. At Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow this weekend Kelly Greene's Attack of the Bat Monsters is finally unleashed. Here he tells us the story behind this celebration of 1950s creature features.
HC: You were inspired to write Attack of the Bat Monsters when you were researching 50s movies, did it take long to write?
KG: It took quite a while because I was working 50 to 60 hours a week at a video production facility while raising a 2-year old and 8-year old, along with my wife, who was also working. I would write at night between 9 and 11pm, and maybe a little more ...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Patrick Magee, writer and director of Primal Rage
Posted on Monday 26th February 2018
There's been a spate of "bigfoot-style, beast in the woods" types of movies recently but none have come anywhere near Primal Rage. This superior creature feature from Patrick Magee will be having its European Premiere at Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow this Friday so I decided to have a chat with this very talented and creative person.
HC: Did you know from a young age you wanted to work in the film industry?
PM: Since a very young age I was always into, even obsessed, with movies. Specifically horror movies, monster movies really. As a hobby, I got really into special make-up effects and drawing. It got to the point where I was so obsessed with it, I decided when I was a teen that I ha...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Gabriela Amaral, writer and director of Friendly Beast
Posted on Sunday 25th February 2018
As we get ready for the trip to Scotland for this year's Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow I've been lucky enough to chat to Gabriela Amaral about her powerful movie Friendly Beast which is getting its UK Premiere at the event.
HC: Was there a certain piece of work or person that inspired you to work in the industry?
GA: Yes, there was. I am a huge fan of Alfred Hitchcock and I decided to study cinema because of him. In the beginning, I didn't know what would I do with movies. Would I be an academic? A film critic? A director? I just knew I had to live doing something that had to do with movies. I graduated in Communication Studies in Brazil where I studied horror movies and literature (specific...SHARE: READ MORE Interviews Archive: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 PICK OF THE WEEK
Sunday 1st July
Thursday 28th June
Saturday 23rd June